The Kinematic Subject

The Vehicular Experience of Speed and Automobility in Virtuality/Reality

Buffered Systems

Buffers can be found in other types of systems. A railway crossing is a place where two modes of transportation, system based trains/trams and automobility based vehicles meet. The system of the railways controls and creates temporary boundaries between these modes of transport. When the arms of the crossing fall across the road, time delays are formed between the boundary formation and the train/tram passing, and the spatial distance the boundary creates between road and rail. In this case, the spatial and temporal distance is a safety mechanism, designed for the organisation of transport.

This suggests that buffers are utilised to prevent damage or injury to the subject; that buffers essentially form a shield against the dangers of the environment. This makes objective sense, as the closer in proximity that the kinematic subject comes to an object, the greater the potential of the contact between the subject and the object. In the motion of a speeding vehicle, heavy contact with an external source usually results in a catastrophe of destruction. In such a circumstance, quicker responses and changes in the control of motion are required, and thus the kinematic subject experiences a greater intensity of ecstatic movement. Thus, the decline of distance reactively results in the increase in ecstasy. Where control is not available and this reaction is not directly possible (eg in cinema), the decline of distance results in the anticipation of an increase in ecstasy.

The introduction of buffers through an interface resulted in an objective separation of action and reaction. This division of what originally appeared to be a single process, then caused the conscious separation and dissociation of actor and spectator (and thus the Western philosophical idea of the separation between body and mind). Now, such a dissociation allows for the structuralisation of experience, through the different spatio-temporalities of the subject/environment and the concept of intermediation. Media theory can be seen to be the study of how subjects (people) can then be reassociated with these two spatio-temporalities of the present action and the delayed reactive spectacle, despite the objective distance.